"My kids felt known and loved" - Pastor John Buckley's story

    08.09.19 | Stories: All Stories: Parents Stories: Community

    “I developed a friendship with Don while I was in the process of planting a church and he and Travis were just getting Off The Wall started.

    In the second or third year of Off The Wall, my son Chris moved to Ohio to become a student there. A few years later, my son Caleb was walking through a really hard time in his life and joined the program as well, and a few years after, that my son Andrew did the same thing.

    Each of my kids experienced different kinds of growth during Off The Wall. Chris learned responsibility, and I saw him care more about his faith and want to talk about it. Caleb transformed completely – he went from a point where I wasn’t even sure if he was a Christian to now fully depending on Christ for everything in life. Andrew was always a believer, but I saw him be set on fire for the Lord, and now he has a passion to disciple others.

    I think Off The Wall sees so much transformation in its students because it is Christ-focused rather than academic-focused. The Bible classes it offers are great, but everything comes second to a student’s walk with Jesus there. The staff are willing to take the hard questions, and they want to truly know their students and where they’re at with God.

    I see Off The Wall as a place that loves purposefully. The staff are willing to take someone where they are at and walk with them, and these students are able to admit their struggles and not worry about rejection. They are still loved, even as the staff points them to the truth about their sin.

    As a pastor who is also passionate about discipleship, I believe that as more young people come into a church owning their faith and wanting to disciple, the more a church is going to be strengthened and set on fire for God.

    The church needs students who want to do life with people outside of Sunday morning. It needs us to care about each other enough to really know and love one another.

    My kids felt known and loved at Off The Wall, and they haven’t been the same since.”

    - John Buckley, Lead Pastor at Upper Perkiomen Community Church
    Father of:   Chris Buckley, student in 2012-2013
                       Caleb Buckley, student in 2016-2019
                       Andrew Buckley, student in 2018-2020